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Town in market for $350,000 fire engine

MONTICELLO – The town will begin shopping for a largerpumper/tanker for the Fire Department following a financing pledgeby a county supervisor.

District One Supervisor Steve Garrett said he will pledge onemill, approximately $17,000, and his portion of the county’s statefire rebate money to assist the town in purchasing a 2,500 gallontanker/pumper for the department.

Initial estimates indicate the pumper will cost around $350,000,said Monticello Fire Chief Wayne Harrison.

“If we start the process now, we may be able to get a new pumperin there by September or October 2006,” said Mayor David Nichols.”It’s about a yearlong process.”

The balance of the truck’s cost would be paid by the city- partly by selling an older fire truck.

There are several advantages to purchasing a tanker/pumper,Nichols said. Most importantly, he said, is the town’s coverageincludes an area stretching about five miles beyond the city limitsin all directions.

“There are no hydrants outside the city limits, and the tankercould give us a means to get water to the fire,” he said.

Also, the town has been discussing a future annexation thatwould bring additional people into the town. It can take years toswitch those new residents from their rural water association tothe town’s water system. In the meantime, a tanker/pumper wouldallow them provide better fire service to the areas.

Additionally, Nichols said, when the annexation occurs thoseareas automatically receive the town’s Class 7 fire rating.However, the annual inspection could later lower that rating,approximately 60 percent of which is based on the availability ofwater. A tanker/pumper in the town’s inventory would give them astronger case for those outlying areas to continue to receive theClass 7 rating.

The improvement to Class 7 from Class 9 would have a significantimpact on savings on the fire insurance of those residents,Harrison said. He said savings could be as much as $300 to $400annually on a house with a property value around $60,000.

Aldermen agreed to begin drawing up the new truck’sspecifications and authorized advertising for bids. The board willthen look at those bids to see if they can afford the truck.